Monday, May 4, 2015

Down by the River

I often write things to remember them, hence my blog about all things cuisine. Recently, I have come across a "gem" on YouTube which I want to recall when I'm in my "food mood". The site, and accompanying YouTube channel is that of The River Cafe, a high end restaurant on London's River Thames.

I came to know about The River Cafe through, of course, Williams Sonoma which often features noteworthy chefs within their blog, on social media, etc. In April, the site featured April Bloomfield, a British chef and current owner of The Spotted Pig in New York. Having just released a cookbook entitled A Girl and her Greens featuring simple preparations for delicious, seasonal vegetables (in contrast to her last book which focused on meat), I wanted to get to "know" April Bloomfield better... after all, I'm also a girl who loves her greens. Having been raised in England, April held previous posts at The River Cafe and Kensington Palace (home to the former Princess Diana and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge... as well as Prince Harry I believe). She also worked at Bibendum in London and Chez Panisse near San Francisco. Having heard of Chez Panisse and Kensington Palace (albeit as a residence and not a place for dining- I should have known royalty must eat too!) I wanted to explore The River Cafe more and what I found was a gold mine of information.

The River Cafe's website is simply a very long page of information with a navigation bar on top which will direct you to any section you'd like. Visiting the site, you are free to explore the restaurant's menu, wine list, books and staff bios if you wish. What drew me, however, was its section labeled recipes, the section I'm drawn to on any chef's or restaurant's site. Here, The River Cafe presents short videos featuring recipes for sauces, desserts and main courses. Each video is narrated and demonstrated by a member of the restaurant's staff who delivers helpful hints about ingredients along the way. Since The River Cafe serves Italian fare, there is a fair amount of fish and meat dishes offered such as beef steak fiorentina and fish stew. Clicking on the link to a recipe brings you to a video within the YouTube realm, where you realize The River Cafe has supplied numerous recipes to its viewers, based mostly around each season. Providing the opportunity to subscribe to RiverCafeLondon in order to easily access their deep reservoir of Italian dishes, I immediately obliged, giving myself something to watch as I fold laundry, clean the house or simply when I want to thoroughly immerse myself in simple, refined, delicious cooking... just as I'm sure April Bloomfield would have wanted.

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